Mobie Is a Tablet That Dual-Boots Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Windows 8.1

Mobie is a new kind of 2-in-1 tablet developed in Finland that is capable to dual-boot Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Windows 8.1. It’s being launched in a couple of months and it already looks very good, at least on paper.

Mobie Oy is a Finish company and they announced a while ago that they intended to release a tablet / PC (2-in-1) that will be used as a teaching device, for both professors and students. They have been working on it for some time and it looks like they are finally ready. They didn’t… (read more)

4MLinux Allinone Edition 11.0 Is a Complete OS

4MLinux Allinone Edition, a Linux distro that encompasses multiple tools for Maintenance (system rescue Live CD), Multimedia (e.g. playing video DVDs), Miniserver (using the inetd daemon), and Mystery (Linux games), is finally out of the Beta stages and has reached version 11.0.

One of the features that define the 4MLinux distros is the ridiculous size of the ISOs and of the installed operating system. The developer has managed to provide a complete operating system that boots into a desktop … (read more)

Preliminary Tests Of Intel Sandy Bridge & Ivy Bridge vs. Broadwell

Chances are if you have a Haswell ultrabook/laptop, you’re probably not looking at upgrading to a new Broadwell design unless your Haswell laptop had hardware issues, you really need a longer battery life via more power efficient hardware, or you just fall in love with one of the new Broadwell devices. If you’re running an Ivy Bridge or Sandy Bridge laptop on the other hand, it might be time for an upgrade to get faster Intel graphics and greater power efficiency. Here’s some preliminary figures I have for showing off the new Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Core i7 5600U compared to some older SNB and IVB laptops.

GNOME: Builder fundraiser concludes

Christan Herget’s Builder fundraiser have concluded. The fundraiser surpassed its original goal allowing Christian to dictate extra time to the development of Builder.

gnome-builder logo

Christian stated in a comment “The overwhelming support of the community is both heartwarming and inspiring. I’m excited to get to continue working on a project that I think is critical to the future of our platform.”

Updates about the progress the project are making is frequently posted on the @GNOMEBuilder twitter account. It’s also possible to view git.gnome.org/Builder/log for real-time source updates. As with any GNOME project the project welcomes community contributions.

Christian will present his work with Builder at the South California Linux Fest (SCALE 13x), taking place February 19-22 in LA.

 

 *The builder logo was done by Jakub Steiner 

 

Meet KDE Plasma 5.2, the Beautiful Future of the KDE Project

The KDE Community announced that Plasma, the desktop for the KDE project, is now at version 5.2 and the developers have made a number of important changes and improvements.

The KDE project now has a different face. The Plasma component is actually the desktop that greets the users and it’s the most easily recognizable piece of software. Sure, some of the other KDE components might be more important and complex, but the vast majority will care about the improvements made to the desktop.

The o… (read more)

Now-Closed KDE Vulnerabilities Remind Us X11 Screen Locks / Screensavers Are Insecure

In addition to KDE Plasma 5.2 bringing many new features with today’s release, it also addresses some security vulnerabilities concerning KDE’s screen locker. Of course, to any longtime Phoronix readers following our frequent X11/X.Org coverage, this hardly comes as a surprise…

Vivaldi: A New Chromium-Powered, Multi-Platform Browser

Making waves this morning on the Internet is the announcement of Vivaldi, a new web-browser started by the former CEO of Opera. Vivaldi is currently supported by Linux, Windows, and OS X systems…

Grim Fandango Remastered Has Strangely High System Requirements for Linux

Grim Fandango Remastered, a remake of the original Grim Fandango game developed by LucasArts, has been released for the Linux platform.

The studio that took charge of the remake is none other than Double Fine Productions. They had a lot of success with all of their recent releases, like The Cave, Brütal Legend, Broken Age, Massive Chalice, or Costume Quest 2.

“Something’s rotten in the land of the dead, and you’re being played for a sucker. Meet Manny Calavera, travel agent at the Department… (read more)

KDE Plasma 5.2 Officially Released

The KDE community officially released Plasma 5.2 this morning as the quarterly update to KDE’s desktop shell powered by Qt5 and KDE Frameworks 5…

Drupal.org 2015 Advertising Initiatives

I was hired by the Drupal Association in October 2014 to develop a new revenue stream from advertising on Drupal.org. For some time we’ve been trying to diversify revenue streams away from DrupalCon, both to make the Association more sustainable and to ensure that DrupalCons can serve community needs, not just our funding needs. We’ve introduced the Drupal Jobs program already and now, after conversations with the community, we want to put more work into Drupal.org advertising initiatives.

This new revenue stream will help fund various Drupal.org initiatives and improvements including better account creation and login, organization and user profile improvements, a responsive redesign of Drupal.org, issue workflow and Git improvements, making Drupal.org search usable, improving tools to find and select projects, and the Groups migration to Drupal 7.

We spent time interviewing members of the Drupal Association board, representatives of the Drupal Community, Working Groups, Supporting Partners, and Drupal Businesses, both large and small to help develop our strategy and guidelines. Our biggest takeaways are:

  • Advertising should not only appeal to advertisers, but also be helpful to our users and/or our mission.
  • When possible, only monetize users who are logged out and not contributing to the Project. If you’re on Drupal.org to do work and contribute, we don’t want you to see ads.
  • Don’t clutter the site, interfere with navigation or disrupt visitors, especially contributors.
  • Do not put ads on pages where users are coming to work, like the issue queue.
  • Advertising products should be inclusive, with low cost options and tiered pricing. We want to make sure that small businesses without huge marketing budgets have the opportunity to get in front of the Drupal Community.
  • Create high impact opportunities for Partners that already support the Community.
  • Address the industry-wide shift to Programmatic Advertising, which is the automated buying and selling of digital advertising.

There are already advertising banners on Drupal.org, however we need to expand their reach to hit our goals. We’re trying to address challenges for our current advertisers, including a relatively low amount of views on pages with ads, which makes it difficult for them to reach their goals.

We’re also facing industry-wide challenges in Digital Advertising. Advertisers are looking for larger, more intrusive ads that get the users’ attention, or at the very least use standard Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) ad sizes, which are larger than the ads we offer on Drupal.org.

We came up with a new line of products that we feel will help us reach our goals, but not disrupt the Drupal.org experience, or the Drupal Association Engineering Team roadmap. We want our Engineering Team to fix search on Drupal.org, not spend time developing and supporting major advertising platforms.

2015 Advertising Initiatives:

  • The ongoing development of curated content with banner ads including resource guides, content by industry and in the future, blog posts.
  • Continued display of banner ads on high profile pages like the Homepage, Marketplace and Case Studies Section.
  • Sponsored listings from Supporting Technology Partners (similar to Hosting Listings).
  • Opt-in email subscriptions with special offers from our Supporters.
  • Audience Extension: a secure, anonymous, non-interruptive way to advertise to Drupal.org visitors. It allows advertisers to programmatically reach the Drupal.org audience while on other websites through Ad Networks and Exchanges.

I wanted to spend most of my time explaining Audience Extension, since its unlike anything we’ve done in the past, and it may prompt questions. This product makes sense because it addresses all of the challenges we’re facing:

  • It’s affordable for small businesses; they can spend as little as $200 on a campaign
  • We don’t need to flood the site with ads and disrupt the user experience.
  • It’s relatively easy to implement – we won’t interrupt the engineering team or their efforts to improve Drupal.org.
  • We will only target anonymous (logged out) users.
  • We will support “Do Not Track” browser requests.
  • This is an industry-wide standard that we’re adopting.
  • Anonymous users will have the option to opt-out.
  • This improves the ad experience on other sites with more relevant, useful ads that also support the community.

How does Audience Extension Work?

We’re partnering with Perfect Audience, a company that specializes in retargeting, and offers a unique audience extension solution called Partner Connect.  We add a Perfect Audience JavaScript tag to the Drupal.org source code. This tag will be loaded on the page to logged out users. The tag places a Perfect Audience cookie in the visitor’s browser that indicates that they recently visited Drupal.org. Once that cookie is in place, an advertiser looking to reach out to the Drupal.org community can advertise to those visitors on Facebook, Google’s ad network, and many other sites that participate in major online ad networks. Advertisers create and manage these campaigns through their Perfect Audience accounts. They pay for the ads through Perfect Audience and we split the revenue with Perfect Audience and the ad networks that serve the ads.

  • The program is anonymous. No personally identifiable information (such as email address, name or date of birth) is gathered or stored.
  • No data is sold or exchanged, this merely gives advertisers the opportunity to buy a banner ad impression within the Perfect Audience platform.
  • It’s easy to opt-out. You can just click over to the Perfect Audience privacy page and click two buttons to opt out of the tracking. Here’s the link.
  • Drupal.org will support “Do Not Track” browser requests and only users who have not logged in (anonymous) will be included in the program.
  • It does not conflict with EU privacy rulings. Advertiser campaigns for Partner Connect can only be geotargeted to the United States and Canada right now.
  • Only high quality, relevant advertisers who have been vetted by an actual human will be able to participate in this program. Some good examples of Perfect Audience advertisers would be companies like New Relic and Heroku.
  • Perfect Audience is actually run by a Drupaler! The first business started by founder Brad Flora back in 2008 was built on Drupal. He spent countless hours in the IRC channel talking Drupal and posting in the forums. He understands how important it is to keep sensitive pages on Drupal.org an ad-free experience and he’s very excited to be able to help make that happen.
  • This program has the potential to generate significant revenue for the Drupal Association and Project over time as more advertisers come on board.

It’s important that we fund Drupal.org improvements, and that we do so in a responsible way that respects the community. We anticipate rolling out these new products throughout the year, starting with Audience Extension on February 5th.  Thanks for taking the time to read about our initiatives, and please tell us your thoughts!

Ubuntu 14.10 and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Gets Fix for Unbound Vulnerability

Details about an Unbound vulnerability in Ubuntu 14.10 and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, which has been found and corrected, have been published in a security notice by Canonical.

This is not a major problem, but this is a vulnerability and it needs to be addressed. Unbound (validating, recursive, caching DNS resolver) could have been made to consume resources if it got a special kind of network traffic.

“Florian Maury discovered that Unbound incorrectly handled delegation. A remote attacker could possi… (read more)

Linux Community Wants Homeworld Remastered

Homeworld Remastered is a collection of games that contains Homeworld Remastered Edition and Homeworld 2 Remastered Edition that have been released by Gearbox. Linux users are now trying to make enough waves so that the studio hears their plea for a port.

The rights for the Homeworld franchise were acquired a while ago by Gearbox and almost immediately the developers announced that they were planning to release a remastered edition. It took them almost a year to finish the work, but now they … (read more)

Plasma 5.2 Is Beautiful and Featureful

Today KDE releases Plasma 5.2. This release adds a number of new components, many new features and many more bugfixes.


Plasma 5.2


New Components


Dual monitor setup

KScreen dual monitor setup

This release of Plasma comes with some new components to make your desktop even more complete:

BlueDevil: a range of desktop components to manage Bluetooth devices. It’ll set up your mouse, keyboard, send & receive files and you can browse for devices.

KSSHAskPass: if you access computers with ssh keys but those keys have passwords this module will give you a graphical UI to enter those passwords.

Muon: install and manage software and other addons for your computer.

Login theme configuration (SDDM): SDDM is now the login manager of choice for Plasma and this new System Settings module allows you to configure the theme.

KScreen: getting its first release for Plasma 5 is the System Settings module to set up multiple monitor support.

GTK Application Style: this new module lets you configure themeing of applications from Gnome.

KDecoration: this new library makes it easier and
more reliable to make themes for KWin, Plasma’s window manager. It has
impressive memory, performance and stability improvements. If you are
missing a feature don’t worry it’ll be back in Plasma 5.3.

Other highlights

Undo changes to Plasma desktop layout

Undo desktop changes
Undo changes to desktop layout

Smarter sorting of results in KRunner, press Alt-space to easily search through your computer

Smart sorting in KRunner
Smart sorting in KRunner

Breeze window decoration theme adds a new look to your desktop and is now used by default

New Breeze Window Decoration
New Breeze Window Decoration

The artists in the visual design group have been hard at work on many new Breeze icons

New Breeze Window Decoration
More Breeze Icons

They are have added a new white mouse cursor theme for Breeze.

New plasma widgets: 15 puzzle, web browser, show desktop

Web browser plasmoid
Web browser plasmoid

Audio Player controls in KRunner, press Alt-Space and type next to change music track

The Kicker alternative application menu can install applications from the menu and adds menu editing features.

Our desktop search feature Baloo sees optimisations on startup. It now consumes 2-3x less CPU on startup. The query parser supports “type” / “kind” properties, so you can type “kind:Audio” in krunner to filter out Audio results.

In the screen locker we improved the integration with logind to ensure the screen is properly locked before suspend. The background of the lock screen can be configured. Internally this uses part of the Wayland protocol which is the future of the Linux desktop.

There are improvements in the handling of multiple monitors. The detection code for multiple monitors got ported to use the XRandR extension directly and multiple bugs related to it were fixed.

Default applications in Kickoff panel menu have been updated to list Instant Messaging, Kontact and Kate.

There is a welcome return to the touchpad enable/disable feature for laptop keypads with these keys.

Breeze will set up GTK themes on first login to match.

Over 300 bugs fixed throughout Plasma modules.

Plasma modules 5.2 full changelog


Live Images

The easiest way to try it out is the with a live image booted off a USB disk. Images which use Plasma 5.2 beta are available for development versions of Kubuntu Vivid Beta and Fedora 21 remix. We expect Plasma 5 to be picked up as the default desktop in leading distributions in the coming months.

Package Downloads

Distributions have created, or are in the process of creating, packages listed on our wiki page.

Source Downloads

You can install Plasma 5 directly from source. KDE’s community wiki has instructions to compile it. Note that Plasma 5 does not co-install with Plasma 4, you will need to uninstall older versions or install into a separate prefix.

Feedback

You can give us feedback and get updates on Facebook or Twitter or Google+.

Discuss Plasma 5 on the KDE Forums Plasma 5 board.

You can provide feedback direct to the developers via the #Plasma IRC channel, Plasma-devel mailing list or report issues via bugzilla. If you like what the team is doing, please let them know!

Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Supporting KDE

KDE is a Free Software community that exists and grows only because of the help of many volunteers that donate their time and effort. KDE is always looking for new volunteers and contributions, whether it is help with coding, bug fixing or reporting, writing documentation, translations, promotion, money, etc. All contributions are gratefully appreciated and eagerly accepted. Please read through the Supporting KDE page for further information or become a KDE e.V. supporting member through our Join the Game initiative.

Opera 27 Is the First Stable Version in 2015, Tab Previews Are Back

The Opera team has just released the first stable edition of the Opera browser in 2015 and the application is now at version 27 and change. A couple of new major features have been implemented and a ton of smaller fixes have been added.

New Opera versions are released all the time, but the stable ones don’t come all that often. We usually get development and Beta iterations of the browser, which are pretty stable and fun to use, especially if you want to test all the cool stuff added before i… (read more)

The Document Foundation announces the results of the Android Tender

Berlin, January 27, 2015 – Following the successful release of the LibreOffice Viewer (Beta), The Document Foundation announces the results of the Android tender – http://tdf.io/tender – today. The tender aims at developing the technical framework that will ultimately power LibreOffice for Android, including the document editor. This tender is one more step towards a compelling, elegant and full-featured experience of LibreOffice on Android.

“We have received a large number of requests for LibreOffice on Android, but at the same time we have realized that without a solid base framework it would have been extremely difficult for the ecosystem to develop a full fledged application for that platform,” comments Thorsten Behrens, TDF Chairman. “With the other members of the BoD, we have then decided to use a portion of the money coming from donations to fund the development of such a framework. This represents an innovative way to spend donations money, and respects the will of the people who have donated to fund an Android application. We invite our happy users to keep on their support with donations.”

To confirm the interest for LibreOffice on Android, the Viewer – although still a Beta – has already been downloaded by tens of thousands of users in just a week, and reviewed by hundreds of websites.

Three work packages, out of the four included in the tender, have been assigned as follows: (1) infrastructure and (2) selections to Collabora, (4) cloud storage and e-mail to Igalia [details of the work packages are available on the tender page]. Results are expected during the month of March 2015.

“The tender process has been a completely new experience for the Board of Directors and for myself”, says Florian Effenberger, Executive Director of The Document Foundation. “The most challenging part has been to create the format of the tender according to the principles set in our statutes, to set an even ground of competition for all the participants. Once again, we have set a new ground for free software foundations, by investing in the development of a framework, to foster the development of a full fledged LibreOffice for Android. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the companies who have sent their proposals, including those who have not been selected.”

The Document Foundation will be making the work available as a series of Beta builds over time which will incrementally add more powerful editing capabilities. Users are encouraged to download and play with the application, and provide their feedback to help improve the quality of the software.

The Document Foundation is grateful to all donors for their ongoing support of the project, through the donations page at: http://donate.libreoffice.org.

Sorry, Windows 10 Fans, but This Is What Icons Should Look Like

The icon theme of an operating system has more importance than people might imagine. Microsoft has updated the icons for the latest Windows 10 preview and they actually look terrible and they lack consistency. We listed a few Linux ones for a better comparison.

The design decisions of the Windows team have always been questionable and it’s clear that the interface is not really a priority for them. They usually care more about features and options, which is actually a good thing, but if you w… (read more)

Canonical Reveals the Hardware Specs of the Ubuntu Aquarius E4.5 Phone

Canonical has revealed the specs for the Aquarius E4.5 phone that will launch with Ubuntu Touch, although they were not exactly a state secret.

Information about the launch of the Ubuntu-powered Bq Aquarius E4.5 phone in February was made public only a month ago, so it’s not really a secret what phones will be used by the Spanish partners at Canonical. Meizu, the partners from China, have been much more secretive and it’s likely that they will wait until the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona… (read more)

Intel Broadwell On Linux Has Working OpenCL 1.2, VP8 Video Acceleration

In the past few days when begining to deliver a number of initial Linux tests from Intel’s new Broadwell processors, a number of Phoronix readers have inquired about the OpenCL and VA-API support for the new hardware…

GParted 0.21 Brings ReFS Detection, EXT4 For RHEL5, Reiser4 For Linux 3.x

Version 0.21 of the widely-used, GUI-based GNOME Partition Editor is now available…

Debian Forked: All for Devuan and Devuan for All?


A group of developers made good on their threats to fork Debian Linux late last year, after the community’s leadership voted to replace sysvinit with systemd, making systemd the default init boot process. The Debian Technical Committee’s decision spurred several key Debian developers and project maintainers to resign. Some of them formed a new community dedicated to developing a forked Debian Linux distro called “Devuan,” pronounced “DevOne.” The split is largely philosophical.